The BraveHeart Sessions – Interview by Roanne van Voorst

I’m Roanne. I’m an author, social scientist and public speaker. I’ve been doing research on the themes of courage, bravery and high-performance for nearly a decade. Now, I help people to live more adventurous lives, and to be super productive – without the stress. Each month I feature interviews with what I call the BraveHearts and the Professional Asskickers of this world. They are people who live an extraordinary adventurous and unconventional life. In the BraveHeart series, they explain how they have become successful in their field, how they stay focused on their goals, how they overcome fears and how they practice self-care. This month’s BraveHeart: Lisette Kreischer.

Lisette Kreischer is a food developer-, stylist and photographer, who is best known for her stunning cookbooks and finger licking plant-based recipes. She has been vegetarian since her early teens and activist vegan since she was 20 years old. Yet her way of activism is a kind, positive way. Lisette has made it a mission to show the world that to be ‘Ecofabulous’ is not boring, hard or complicated – instead, it’s rich, fun and can be surprisingly easy – anyone in for an algae burger, crispy sweet potato fries and more vegan comfort-food?

In this episode, Lisette shares:
• That she makes important life decisions by tuning into the world and into her own
intuition on a daily basis.
• Her firm belief that we can only be of service and work efficiently if we work within our
capabilities and from a place of happiness and joy.
• Her number one advice for people who have a dream, but doubt whether they should
follow it.
• That the key in life is not to overcome fear, but to accept it, inquire it and contrast it with
your core values – if you’re clear on your values, they will always help you set anxieties
aside and chose your own path.
• That she is hardly interested in financial security, but much more in an adventurous,
value-driven life. Instead, she chooses to trust the process that her gut feeling will take
her where she need to go and bring her what she needs.
• Why procrastination is her secret trick to creative success.

Meet Lisette.
“It is bad ass to listen to your gut feeling and to stand up for it.”

When you became a vegan, much less was known about veganism, and you had to do a lot of research to find out what you could eat and how you could substitute animal protein for plant-based nutrients. You obviously pushed through and succeeded –your books are published internationally, you’ve developed a world-famous ‘Weed Burger’ and helped to set up a vegan fast-food eatery in Amsterdam. How do you decide on life goals or values that are important for you? Do you often reflect on where you want to go with your life, do you set new year’s resolutions?

Lisette: ‘Thank you so much for asking me this. Because to me this is THE question that is of great essence for me personally, for my work and how I navigate through my life. I ponder about this question every single day. To me every single day consists of tuning into the world and my own intuition, but also into my personal longings for growth as well as a creative person and as an activist. What is the status quo of the world? Where do I think the world should be moving towards? What is needed most in the world according to my gut feeling? How can I contribute to that? How can I take responsibility and contribute with what I can offer within my own possibilities? But also: how I can be happy. I strive for the moment that everything is in balance and in line with my deeper longings, my qualities and where I believe I can be of service.’

Could you give us a recent example of how ‘tuning in’ has transcended into action in your life?

Lisette: ‘I always thought I would be running a business by this age. A big vegan company that would seduce the world to eat plant based. Well, that happened indeed, but I wasn’t happy. I felt drained and I recognised that I couldn’t contribute to the company in a way that would serve its growth. Initially, this realisation came as a big shock. Wasn’t I supposed to do this? But if that were the case, how could it feel so off? And how about the animals…if I would stop contributing to this company, would I be failing them? You’ll understand that I really had to dive deep for this one. But going within, I eventually learned and understood that I can only be of service and work efficiently if I work within my capabilities and from a place of happiness and joy. To this day, this is a challenge and a continuous process. But I’m happy and proud to say that this inner work helped me to take a big step back from the company I hold dear to my heart. I am now able to work on what I can do best, making vegan cookbooks and spreading the plant based message through positive stories, recipes and pictures.’

Making plans on the basis of intuition is one thing; sticking to them is another. How do you make sure that you follow your plans?

Lisette: ‘The only way to know and to be sure that I am on track, is by constantly tuning in and by listening to that wise voice within. It is always there. In the 16 years as a vegan and entrepreneur this always turned out to be the right voice. I always knew what to do, I just didn’t always listen so well. It is bad ass to listen to your gut feeling and to stand up for it. Everyone says that you have to substantiate your choice, but feelings cannot always be substantiated, they can be very vague and chaotic! Therefore, I learned to be fine with a vague feeling or knowing, fine with ‘this is what my feeling is telling me, I don’t know why, but it must be true…so I will follow that feeling’. This process can be hard, because feelings aren’t always clear and the mind can be a tough one, so I am always navigating in between intuition and mind. What helps me in connecting to that inner voice, is doing yoga, talking to my loved ones…I also ponder a lot, I question everything and slowly but firmly things get clear. They always do, they just need time and attention.’

Has it sometimes been scary to get where you are now?

Lisette: ‘Yes, making big life decisions is always scary, because my mind can play tricks on me, can leave me with thoughts like: what will they think of me, will I be able to pay my bills, will this ever end, is this the right path… Ohw, that mind…many many many bla bla bla’s! For example, for a long time, while my gut was saying no to me being involved that company, my mind was saying yes. And it was only recently that I was able to make the right choice and that everything fell into place. So sometimes you need to do something even if you feel insecure, and trust your inner feeling that it all will have to go like this or like that for greatness to happen. What have you done to overcome fears or insecurity? I haven’t overcome them. They are still there. I just accept that they are there, always, and I question them. I inquire them. I take time and create space to understand them. And then I move forward. Feeling more strongly than ever and rooted in my intuition. But this still is a process. And maybe I will be working with this for the rest of my life. Just to give you an insight in this process: I’ve have had such a strong and deep feeling that we have to stop killing animals and we have to start working together with nature. I don’t know where this feeling is coming from, but it feels certain, safe, right and therefore I follow it. Whatever fear or insecurity comes up, I look it in the eye. I never turn away. It’s like the warrior pose in yoga. Practicing that makes me show up for my anxieties, but also for my core values and the latter always gives me answers to deal with the first.’

What has ‘doing things’ – even if they feel scary, brought you in life?

Lisette: ‘Milestones. Many milestones. Many lives saved, spared. Many insights in my own thinking and acting. Many ego crushes and many beautiful friendships. For people who want to choose their own path in life, like you have, but who feel stuck amidst social expectations or the felt need to prioritise financial security over doing what they really value; what would you recommend them? Go. Just go. I have never really questioned money or relationships. I was simply rooted strongly enough in my core desired feelings to move forward. I don’t wish to choose a safe path regarding finance, I wish to trust the process that it will take me where I need to go and it will bring me what I need. This is my life adventure and I want to ride the waves of it without being held back by ideas about securities and safeties. Because I don’t feel safe when I am doing things that feel off. If you feel safe with the idea of having an income via an employer and do creative work in spare time, then go for that. But if you feel that you have something to give to the world, go stand for it. Make it work. Go. Time is now, life is now. Go and trust the hell out of it.’

You’re very productive and get lots of things done. Do you have any antiprocrastination tips or ideas on how we can avoid to get distracted, and remain on the path?

Lisette: ‘Go and be distracted! I have written the best texts and created the best recipes by totally letting myself get distracted. I just had to find out that this was important for my creative work. For a long time, I thought that I had to be on top of everything the whole time, but I didn’t work. I just got distracted and felt bad about it. Until I gave myself permission to delay things until the moment I felt it was time to sit down and work. And great things happened! How does a typical day or week look like in your life? Chaotic and it works for me. I write when I feel like writing and sometimes when there is a deadline I work hard. I cuddle my doggy friend. I take time to eat. I do yoga often. I work in the garden. I read. I write. I just let it be and let happen what needs to happen. I try to not put myself under pressure. And again: this is a challenge. But I look it in the eye.’

Do you consciously take off time from work, or practice self-care in order to stay fit and sane?

Lisette: ‘No. Not like that. I just work when I feel like working and take time off when my body tells me to. In the morning, I usually feel the most energetic, so I get things done. Then almost always at the end of the workday I feel like doing yoga, so I do it. Then in the evening I almost always feel like doing something else. That can be reading, watching a movie, or something else that feels relaxing. I have learned to listen to my body’s energy levels and navigate on that. I also am totally for taking rest in weekends. I used to believe I didn’t and I kept on working, until I experienced the space I could feel when I don’t work for two days in a row and do completely different stuff.’

Any big dream projects coming up?

Lisette: ‘Yes! I will be releasing three books in one year. Never done that before, so that’s a bit scary. But at the same time, I can’t wait either.’

All photos by Jonathan van Alteren.
Want to know more about Lisette, her work and her books? Check out her website, or connect on
Facebook or Instagram. Her newest book, The Plant Pharmacy, will be available from March
2018. Brave on, Roanne

Know someone who might enjoy reading this article? Feel free to share, but please be mindful about the copyrights. And never want to miss a future episode of the BraveHeart series? Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter – you’ll get instant access to all interviews from the Braveheart series, as well as to tens of other (free) articles on adventurous and intentional living, wallpapers that will inspire you and planners that will help you get your goals clear. Oh, and if you found Lisette’s story inspiring, then you might also like to become a member of #thefocuscollective. This is an online group that I am hosting for creatives, entrepreneurs, busy moms and other ambitious people, who don’t believe in 80-hours workweeks, but who do believe in focus and concentration. I share antiprocrastination tips with you, and offer support and a structure to help you get your things done. Find us here.

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